by R.M.B. Senanayake The attack on the human rights lawyer Weliamuna in the night where he is living with two small children show that danger is not far away from all citizens who uphold human rights and democratic norms. We the educated and influential in society have been silent when white vans abducted Tamils who […]
The day before yesterday, the government of Sri Lanka ordered all humanitarian organisations to cease all operations and remove all personnel (except Vanni residents) and assets from the LTTE controlled part of the Vanni. The question this observer wishes to explore is why the Government of Sri Lanka after ensuring the welfare of its citizens […]
It was July ’83. I was seventeen, which you’ll be surprised about if you’ve seen my youthful appearance and I was in Sri Lanka on one of those “extended” studenty type of holidays that we all wish we could have now. It was the summer between the first and second year of my ‘A’ levels […]
I don’t think I had the slightest inkling of a problem between the sinhala and tamil people in Sri Lanka, until July 1983. But I should have. In the heady days of the 1977 election, a good 13 years before I could vote, I remember my father quite nonchalantly relating a story: at some time […]
More than two and a half decades later, one of my friends has asked to interview me about the ’83 riots. I was ten years old. My family was from the Sinhala majority, with relatives who were strong figures in politics and the military. How could I reply? July 1983 My mind goes back to […]
Member of Parliament and Convener of the Civil Monitoring Committee, Mano Ganeshan, speaks about his experiences during the anti-Tamil riots in July 1983. For more articles on July 1983, please click here.
by Somapala Gunadheera Off and on, I write short stories, never anecdotes. But now I have to oblige Sanjana. He wants stories about our ethnic riots, the one that raged before he was born and the other when he was at school. Therapists say that anecdotes have a healing effect on ethnic wounds. My experience […]
Prominent Tamil civil society activist Shanthi Sachithanandan shares her experiences of the July 1983 anti-Tamil riots in Sri Lanka. For the Sinhala version of the interview, clickÂ here and visit theÂ Vikalpa YouTube ChannelÂ for more short videos on the events of July 1983. For more articles on July 1983, please click here.
Reports coming in from sources in Kilinochchi district shows that military operations in the district have led to mass displacements of the civilian population living in the Vanni. In the past 3 weeks, approximately 9,000 families (approximately 40,000 individuals) were displaced from areas close to the FDL (Manthai East) towards Northern part of the Vanni […]
From my Diary Notes written in Cell No.1, Negombo Remand Prison, (July 31st-Sept 24th 1983) Â I had my own gruesome experience of the Black July. It was 29th July at midnight that I received a telephone call from my friend and party comrade AJMO Dr. Indra Kumar of his father’s sudden death by a […]
by Austin Fernando In July 1983, my Accountant Mr. Vallipuram at the Cooperative Department lived off Castle Street where his neighbour was a notorious Sinhalese thug. Until ‘Black July’ Vallipuram once told me that, that thug was the ‘assailant select’ in his mind, whenever he feared a racial riot. When violent crowds ‘visited’ him early […]
Photo by Chandragupta Amarasinghe ONE What happened in mid-1983 and in the last week of July 1983 was obscene, a monumental atrocity, a disaster for Sri Lanka. In a context marked by the push for self-determination by the principal forces representing the Sri Lankan Tamils and an armed underground insurgency involving restive youth in the […]
July usually passes me by without too much notice, beyond the vague worry that there might be a Tiger attack on Colombo, and a few flashbacks to that weekend in 1983. But this time it’s been a bit different. I’ve found myself reliving that day a lot more this year. It isn’t the fact that […]
Tamil National Alliance MP Mr. R. Sampanthan speaks of the anti-Tamil riots of July 1983. Speaking of the “terrible experience for all Tamil people in Sri Lanka” he says that the riot was “premeditated pogrom… largely believed to be with the support of very influential forces within the then government”. He notes that there were […]
AFLAME – Remembering Black July, 1983 What is a poem to a man hiding in the cellar of his neighbor’s house, breathing the way his hostess spices lentils and mutton, while son and daughter keep quiet, not one word allowed in the mother tongue, and wife strokes her neck, the golden wings of her thali, […]